By Staff Reporter
The Patriot was informed yesterday that Air Namibia is safe to fly, following the discouraging outcome of an audit that was carried out at the beleaguered company from the 24 to the 26th June this year. The safety audit exposed 50 adverse IOSA safety findings against the state-owned company which is already battling financial woes.
According to the then audit, Air Namibia was expected to have processes within, to be used in the event of an emergency situation that endangers the safety of the aircraft.
However, audit findings were that Air Namibia did not have a process to be used in the event of an emergency situation that might endanger the safety of the aircraft or persons, including those situations that become known first to the flag carrier.
According to the report, such process ensures that the FOA initiates emergency procedures while avoiding taking any action that would conflict with ATC procedures; notifies the appropriate authorities, without delay, of the nature of the situation; requests assistance, if required and conveys, by any available means, safety-related information that may be necessary for the safe conduct of the flight, including information related to any necessary amendments to the flight plan.
Paul Nakawa, Manager of Corporate Communications responded to this publications enquiry, stating that the company has been cleared for the skies.
“The IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) Program is an internationally recognized and accepted evaluation system designed to assess the operational management and control systems of an airline.
The IOSA audit creates a standard that is comparable on a world-wide basis, enabling and maximizing the joint use of audit reports.
All IATA members are IOSA registered and must remain registered to maintain IATA membership. Air Namibia is a member of IATA and therefore required to have IOSA certification.”
According to Nakawa, Air Namibia is IOSA compliant since 2007. IOSA audits are carried out at intervals of every two years. The most recent IOSA audit Air Namibia underwent was in 2019.
“As in previous years, and same as all other airlines undergoing the audit, we had findings.
What happens when you have findings is that you do root-cause, come up with a ‘corrective action plan’, then implement those corrective actions.
After the corrective actions have been implemented, the audit organisation verifies to satisfy itself that indeed acceptable corrective actions were implemented, and there after issue a report that the audit is completed satisfactorily,” he wrote.
The IOSA audit document that this publication is in possession of, shows that Air Namibia did not have many of the required procedures that are considered crucial for safety.
A concern highlighted in the shocking audit report was that Air Namibia did not have guidance that addresses the use of flight data recorders and cockpit voice recorders.
Further, Air Namibia did not have an adequate process or procedures to ensure contingency fuel that is required to compensate for unforeseen factors that could have an influence on the fuel consumption to the destination airport.
“There is a timeframe defined within which the corrective action plan must be completed, failure of which IATA membership would be lost,” Nakawa writes.
“The situation at Air Namibia is that:
Root cause analysis was done.
Corrective action plan was prepared and accepted by the audit organisation.
The corrective action plan was executed (actions to close findings were done).”
ICAO is a specialised agency of the United Nations which changes the principles and techniques of international air navigation and fosters the planning and development of international air transport to ensure safe and orderly growth.
An expert who declined to be named for safety reasons, had told this publication that the non-compliance by Air Namibia could lead to the airline losing its ICAO status and with that, all international overflight rights.
It is believed that the audit performed tests to verify that the corrective actions were implemented satisfactorily and was happy with the outcome.
“The audit is now closed, and an audit closure notice has been issued, confirming that the findings are closed, and that Air Namibia operates in accordance with acceptable operational management and control systems of required by IATA,” Nakawa further wrote in his detailed response.
A second letter, this one penned by Gerardo Nadiello, Director of Operations at AQS, states that “Aviation Quality Services GmbH (AQS) was invited by Air Namibia Pty (Ltd) to perform a renewal IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) from 24 to 28 June, 2019.
In the subsequent audit follow-up process, AQS Auditors have reviewed the actions taken and determined their suitability to conform with the IOSA Standard. AQS declares the audit of Air Namibia Pty (Ltd) closed on 06 December 2019.”
According to Aviation Quality Services GmbH (AQS), the IOSA Audit Report (IAR) will be sent to IATA, who will do a thorough quality check before prolonging the IOSA registration of Air Namibia Pty (Ltd).
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank Air Namibia Pty (Ltd) for selecting AQS as their preferred IOSA partner and maintaining their registration status in the growing IOSA community. Our audit team was received with great motivation, openness and hospitality,” Nadiello concludes.
Nakawa further noted that “Air Namibia continues to be a member of IATA and one of few African airlines flying into the European Space.
Through this operation, Air Namibia enables daily connectivity between the Land of the Brave and the European market through Frankfurt.
The economical spinoffs are evident in the tourism market.”
Under ideal circumstances, aeroplanes should have procedures to ensure that the inadequacy of any facilities observed during the course of flight operations is reported to the responsible authority without undue delay.
This also ensures that information relevant to any such inadequacy is immediately disseminated to applicable operating areas within the Operator’s organisation.